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Where to see Buffalo in Kenya

One of the celebrated so-called Big Five, the buffalo’s fearsome reputation derives largely from hunters’ tales. Visitors will usually find this big, sociable bovid to be a largely placid animal – although courageous in defence against predators.

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Quick facts about Buffalo

Scientific name: Syncerus caffer Habitat: Floodplains, mixed bush & moist grasslands
IUCN status: Near-threatened Adult weight: 500–950kg

The African or Cape buffalo is Africa’s only wild cattle species and should not be confused with the domestic water buffalo. The subspecies inhabiting southern and eastern Africa (S.c. caffer) is the larger of two, the other being the smaller, reddish forest buffalo of west and central Africa (S.c. nanus).

Males are imposing beasts: larger than females, their curved horns meet at the base in a bony shield, called a boss. Buffalos are bulk grazers and must drink daily.

Their social structures are matriarchal, and herds may coalesce in huge gatherings of more than 1,000. Older males form smaller, separate groups. Lions are a constant threat, but buffalo herds co-operate to repel the big cats – sometimes even killing them.


Max. shoulder height (male)


Record horn span (tip to tip)


Today’s population

11 months

gestation period

The top camps for seeing buffalo in Kenya

Based on 178 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Kenya have the best chances of sighting buffalo.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for buffalo

% of travellers who saw buffalo

Top 10 camps for buffalo

% of travellers who saw buffalo

Where to see buffalo in Africa

Buffalo require a combination of thick bush for cover and open grasslands for grazing. They are reasonably common in most large parks and reserves across east and southern Africa, except for in the drier south-west parts of the continent.

Top tips for viewing buffalo

A large herd of buffalos on the move, filling the air with dust, is one of the more impressive sights of the bush. During the rainy season, herds move constantly in search of fresh grazing and may quickly disappear, leaving only the evidence of their passing – the trampled ground splattered with droppings. During the dry season, herds throng to waterholes, wading in deep and jostling for position.

Parks with impressive buffalo populations include Tsavo East and West (Kenya), Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous (Tanzania), Luangwa (Zambia), Hwange (Zimbabwe) and Chobe and Moremi (Botswana).

Lions often tail buffalos, so remaining in a herd’s vicinity may produce some action. Old bulls tend to hang out around wallows and waterholes. Vulnerable to lion attack, and thus edgy and aggressive, these individuals require a wide berth when you’re on foot.


Our best Kenya holidays for buffalo sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Kenya safaris are likely to give the best buffalo sightings

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,440 - US$15,040 per person

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Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Explore Kenya in-depth with visits to Nairobi and Meru National Parks, the Mara Conservancies and Amboseli. Nestled in remoter regions, four camps provide fantastic access to rich game, a range of activities and beautifully diverse landscapes.

US$8,380 - US$9,630 per person

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Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$4,790 - US$4,790 per person

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De Brazza Monkey Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Enjoy a range of activities in the remote wilderness of northern Kenya before exploring the wildlife-rich plains of the Mara ecosystem. Private vehicles and guides heighten the personalisation of this highly immersive safari.

US$9,700 - US$11,350 per person

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Martial Eagle Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This stylish fly-in safari visits two of Africa’s most iconic parks, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

US$10,500 - US$14,310 per person

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Gorillas and Maasai Mara Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This trip combines two of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences – Rwanda's mountain gorillas and Kenya's Maasai Mara.

US$9,750 - US$11,620 per person

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Golden Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations

A contrasting safari of a lodge and a tented camp, action-packed activities in Laikipia and wildlife-filled game drives in the Maasai Mara, yet overall a consistently high quality experience.

US$8,050 - US$10,300 per person

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Rothschild Giraffe Safari

8 days • 3 locations

A luxury Kenyan safari, starting at the iconic Giraffe Manor before fabulous stays on the spectacular Solio Reserve and Sala’s Camp in a remote corner of the Maasai Mara.

US$9,200 - US$12,650 per person

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Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

8 days • 2 locations

Different wildlife, contrasting camps and a whole host of activities, this is a safari for those wanting to get out and about and not just sit in a vehicle.

US$5,500 - US$8,280 per person

View all holidays to Kenya

More information about buffalo in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about buffalo in other countries, including the places for sighting buffalo.

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